Carson: Prisons Prove Being Gay is a Choice

Oh, Ben Carson. You are such a welcome addition to the Republican presidential nomination clown car. Now that he’s officially launched an exploratory committee to run for president, he’d like you to know that being gay is totally a choice because people sometimes have gay sex in prison.

Ben Carson, who is exploring a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, is using prison to illustrate his argument that being gay is a choice.

“Absolutely” people choose their sexual orientations, Carson said in an interview that aired Wednesday on CNN.

“Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”

Okay, I just asked myself that question. And then I answered it in a far more rational way than you did. Because I know the difference between being gay and having gay sex. Being gay is a sexual orientation. Someone who goes to prison and has gay sex, especially when it is often an act of dominance rather than sexuality, is not gay. Gay people can and do have sex with people of the opposite gender and straight people can and do have sex with people of the same gender and in neither case does this change their sexual orientation. As bigots always do, Carson is reducing being gay to an act.

Ben Carson is rapidly becoming to the University of Michigan Medical School what Ann Coulter has long been to the U of M Law School — they who shall not be mentioned.

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  • keithb
  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    Age-old question: Is Carson really this stupid or is he simply in contention for a gold medal in the Pandering Olympics? Is this what he believes or what he knows that his audience wants to hear?

  • colnago80

    Hey, the Un. of Michigan is in good company with Harvard, proud awarder of a law degree to E. W. Jackson, who is even nuttier then Coulter and Carson.

  • colnago80

    Re ArtK @ #2

    It’s getting harder and harder to believe that Carson is just a world class panderer.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Being dead is apparently also a choice, because people die in prison.

    I canz republican reasonings too!

  • http://composer99.blogspot.ca composer99

    So is Carson practicing Egnorance? Or do we need a new neologism for his brand of “not sure if pandering or if really this mixture of incredibly sloppy reasoning, thoughtless ignorance, and gullible acceptance of complete BS?”

  • marcus

    I’m thinking the ticket for the “thugs is going to be Walker/Carson. You heard it here first!

    They’re perfect! (For certain values…)

  • John Pieret

    keithb:

    Yeah, but before that:

    But during a radio discussion this afternoon with Sean Hannity, Carson blamed the ordeal on CNN. “It was a 25 minute interview they chopped, and you see what part they emphasized,” he said. “I did learn something very important: For certain networks, never do a pre-taped interview. Always do it live.” …

    Carson continued: “I simply have decided I’m not really going to talk about that issue anymore because every time I’m gaining momentum the liberal press says, ‘Let’s talk about gay rights.’ And I’m just not going to fall for that anymore.”

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/ben-carson-blames-media-im-just-not-going-to-talk-gay-rights-anymore/

    As Andrew Kirell noted:

    The problem with Carson’s attempt to play victim here is that, during that sequence of the CNN interview, there were clearly no jump-cuts and no edits — just a straight back-and-forth about whether homosexuality is a choice. Playing this off with a “gotcha media vs. poor ol’ Ben Carson” spin isn’t exactly going to cut it. Sometimes your words are just your words.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002686842900 ChristineRose

    There’s this recurring fantasy that anyone who has gay sex, no matter what the reason, no matter what the circumstances, whether money is exchanged, whether trapped in prison, etc., is gay. Because gay sex is so appealing that any straight person who has it will never ever want to have any other kind of sex and the human race will die out if we don’t discourage gay sex in every possible circumstance.

    It’s almost as if we were all repressed gays and lesbians.

  • Doc Bill

    I thought Michelle Bachmann was bad until Carson came along. While I think Bachman is delusional and not very smart, Carson seems to be bat shit crazy insane. I have never, not once, read a statement of his that wasn’t flat out incoherent. Not just wrong or a little bent, but downright incoherent, like he doesn’t understand language.

    Now he’s complaining that his words were “taken out of context” by the “left liberal media.” So, like all the other Republican proto-candidates, Carson is just a sound bite machine except that his content is manufactured by the Acme Fruitcake Co.

  • tbp1

    #10:

    I have never, not once, read a statement of his that wasn’t flat out incoherent.

    I’m with you. Most of the time I can’t even figure out what he’s trying to say. I literally can’t paraphrase most of his sentences in a way that gives them recognizable meaning.

  • felicis

    Ultimately – who cares if it is a choice or not? Should we stigmatize and keep as second class citizens people who make a choice about their sexuality (in terms of who they prefer to have consensual sex with) or their presented gender? Do it being a choice suddenly make the abuse ‘ok’?

    I would argue that it does not, no matter how icky a minority religious group views it.

  • lorn

    Is this Ben Carson polishing his right-wing credentials by swinging his anti-gay flag with more enthusiasm? Or is this Ben Carson’s way of coming to terms with his bisexuality? Hard to say.

    I will say that this issue has been studied and that those studies suggest that the majority of males in prison long term will engage in homosexual activity at some time. Most often, but not always, with males designated as surrogate females. The studies go on to show that the men using surrogates do not generally consider themselves to be gay and when let out they return to behaviors in line with their heterosexual identification.

  • John Pieret

    felicis:

    who cares if it is a choice or not?

    Quite right. Every time they raise that “argument,” the answer should be “Then stop bitchin’ about Christian “persecution” because you have a choice to become an atheist and then you’ll be left alone*”

    _______________________________________________________

    * Yeah, I know that’s not how it works, but the shock value would be worth it .

  • John Pieret

    Woo [pun intended] hoo! The chickenhawks come home to roost. Witness Bryan Fischer:

    On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer spent two segments heaping praise upon Ben Carson for his statement that prison sex proves that homosexuality is a choice. But that was before Carson apologized for his remarks and declared that he was simply not going to discuss the issue of gay rights any more.

    Needless to say, Carson’s retreat is not sitting well with Fischer, who spent two segments of his program today criticizing Carson for his refusal to defend his statement and saying that he may have fatally offended his base with his apology.

    “Dr. Carson seems to be not considering the possibility that some people could be offended because he apologized,” Fischer said. “They’re disappointed in him because he apologized.”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/fisher-ben-carson-may-have-done-fatal-damage-his-campaign-apologizing-anti-gay-remarks#sthash.ycaUbhL3.dpuf

    Oh, the dilemma of being loonier than thou!

  • cptdoom

    Ultimately – who cares if it is a choice or not?

    There sure are a lot of people who choose to become Christian in prison so I guess religion shouldn’t be part of any in discrimination laws.

  • jnorris

    What cptdoom said.

  • pixiedust

    @7 marcus

    “Walker/Carson ticket”

    You’re right (as of this moment anyway.). The wingnuts in my area –the ones who say that the GOP loses when it nominates Democrat-lite people like McCain and Romney — are indeed talking Walker/Carson.

  • pixiedust

    “Who cares if it is a choice or not”

    My stock reply: do you think racial discrimination would be okay if one’s race were a choice?

    Their stock reply: that’s different.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ pixiedust : Next stock reply to that : How?

  • StevoR

    PS. Also someone should really ask Carson when he chose to be straight and right handed or left-handed too. Assuming he ain’t ambidextrous.

  • StevoR

    PPS. Has nobody in the Us of A esp. on the Republican side ever heard of the Kinsey spectrum or the word genderfluid or even watched David Bowie clips?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterosexual%E2%80%93homosexual_continuum

    Also as #12 felicis writ :

    Ultimately – who cares if it is a choice or not? Should we stigmatize and keep as second class citizens people who make a choice about their sexuality (in terms of who they prefer to have consensual sex with) or their presented gender? Do it being a choice suddenly make the abuse ‘ok’?

    I would argue that it does not, no matter how icky a minority religious group views it.

    I would completely agree 100% with that and quoting for truth.

  • Blondin

    This is similar to the “natural/unnatural” argument that often comes up. Some ignorant bigot makes the argument that same-sex activities are unique to human beings and are therefore unnatural. When you present evidence that same-sex play or sexual activity is actually fairly common among many species you are then accused of arguing that ‘animals do it so we should too’. No, I’m just pointing out that the assertion you made in defense of your argument is false.

    It’s nothing more than a debating tactic. We get all caught up in discussing whether or not same-sex attraction is natural or whether it is a choice or whether it is “curable” and so on, while the question of whether there is any real reason to discriminate against people because of their sexual preferences is not being addressed at all.

    We could have a similar debate about many other things. Should public nudity be allowed? Wearing clothes is unnatural. Wearing clothes is a choice. Should left-handed people have the same rights as right-handed people? Left-handedness is less common that right-handedness and it can be cured therefore only right-handers are “normal”. From now on only right-handed, straight people should be allowed to marry. At nude weddings!

  • scienceavenger

    “I simply have decided I’m not really going to talk about that issue anymore because every time I’m gaining momentum the liberal press says, ‘Let’s talk about gay rights.’ And I’m just not going to fall for that anymore.”

    Translation: The liberal press won’t let me get away with saying stupid things on the subject, so I’m just not going to talk about it any more.

    It’d be so much easier to just stop saying stupid things. Just sayin…